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Upper Management

In a company, management is very important. It is vital in getting things done as well as in reaching goals and objectives within the company. There are three levels of management: upper, middle, and lower management. This article will primarily focus on letting you understand what upper-level management is all about. Upper management is also known as Top Management, Executive Management, and Senior Management.

Upper-Level Management

The responsibility and roles of those who are in the upper management is crucial to the success of the company. These people hold the highest positions, which translates to higher levels of responsibility. Board of Directors, Shareholders and top managers are included in top management. While they don’t manage the everyday activities of the company, they are the ones who manage how the company will move towards a single path and direction to achieve its objectives.

The top management team is composed of the decision-makers in any company. They are also the ones who set goals for the company and decide on the ways to achieve them. In a way, they are the “drivers” of a company. Further, even though they aren’t involved in the day-to-day activities of the company, they are still responsible for its overall performance. If any of their subordinates fail at something, their top manager will still take the heat for them. To add, top managers are the ones who decide for the overall budget of the company as well.

To become a part of the upper-level management, you either have to own the company or apply for the top positions. There are cases when entrepreneurs take on all managerial positions until the company expands and can accommodate different levels of management. Other people apply, get promoted or are trained to become part of top management. The big responsibility comes with a big paycheck, too.

Positions in Upper Management

Highest Levels:

  • Chairman of the Board—The Chairman is the head of the board of directors in a company. The Chairman of the Board can also be the President or CEO.

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)—The CEO is the highest-ranking manager in the company. He is the one who makes the big decisions. Often, the CEO holds the largest share of the stocks.

  • President—The President can also hold the largest share of the company’s stocks but he can be differentiated from a CEO. The President is recognized as the highest corporate officer but he does not take part in the daily operations of the company.

Next Level:

  • Vice Chairman—The Vice Chairman is also part of the Board of Directors and takes the president’s role if he is absent. The Vice Chair can also supervise the different activities in the board.

  • Directors—Directors are different from the Board of Directors and these people report to the Vice President. They are part of the daily operations of a company.

  • Vice President—The Vice President also monitors the daily activities of the company. He reports to the President.

Financial Upper-Level Management

As mentioned, finances are also part of the decision-making agenda of top management. Hence, top financial roles are also included in upper management. They are as follows:

  • Chief Financial Officer—The CFO is the highest-level corporate officer who looks after the finances of the company. He reports to the CEO regarding financial matters. The CFO can be the company’s financial treasurer or secretary.

  • Secretary—The Secretary keeps track of all financial decisions that the board and top managers have made.

  • Treasurer—A Treasurer has a big financial responsibility on his hands. His job is to take care of the company’s money. He directly reports to the Board of Directors. The best person to take on this job is the CFO.

Functions of Upper-Level Management

It cannot be stressed enough how important the functions of upper management are in any company, big or small. Decision-making is one of their main functions but there are other important roles that upper-level management assumes. The three important functions of top management include planning, organizing and controlling.

When it comes to planning, the top management plans on how to achieve and accomplish the company’s objectives. They continually find means and ways to improve the operations of the company including making more profits, caring for their employees and improving customer relations. Planning also includes coming up with a framework on how strategies should be implemented. Planning plays a vital role in helping employees to better understand the company’s goals, competition, and the industry they belong to.

The next main function is organizing. The process of organizing is to achieve the overall objectives of the company. Resources like manpower, materials, machinery and money are all included here. Top management has to make sure they are using all the needed resources so that objectives will be met. Not only is organizing important for the completion of objectives, but it is also needed for the growth of the company.

The last main function is controlling. It includes checking the company’s different business processes and making sure that everything is running smoothly. Any errors or mistakes will be checked and corrected so that actions will not deviate from the road to achieving the main goal. Controlling is a continuous process and top management assumes the highest role for this.

Duties and Responsibilities of Upper-Level Management

The duties and responsibilities of upper management are worth noting to let you understand the difference between the different levels of management.

  • Plans, organizes and establishes the goals of the company

  • Structures systems and processes and then implements them to help the company achieve its objectives

  • Supervises and trains employees in the company

  • Directs the activities of the company

  • Prepares and reviews performance reports

  • Decides on time limitations regarding project proposals as well as funding limits

  • Prepares budgets and spending allocations

  • Responsible for meeting with managers and employees, and explaining to them the goals of the company.